Something I must make clear is that, because my chapters are around ten pages long, they currently won't fit in the reply box, so my chapters will be posted in two pages.
NOTE: When I first wrote this chapter, I was very adamant in making sure that people did not assume this to be a Journey Fic. But all I have to say now is this--if you run away after reading Jade and Rudy's conversation just because of false journey assumptions, then you are very shallow. Of course...I'm not saying that there aren't many other reasons for you to run away from LC. xP
~Chapter 1: Death on the Mountainside~
Nov. 11, 2023 1:30 PM (Nearly five years later)
It was one of those days where you know it should be cold and yet it isn’t. The sun lay suspended in the midst of the azure skies, seemingly higher than usual and shining its warmth across the cloudless atmosphere. Hundreds of birds soared in the sky and there was only a slight breeze that carried fragments of orange and yellow leaves throughout the late autumn air. Despite this, the wind seemed to be rushing in my face, blowing my medium length dirty-blonde hair back as I flew down the hill, the downward rush increasing my speed.
I was much taller and older now—just under 5’8” but feeling as though I was six feet tall as I stood on my bike pedals and let momentum do the work. My hair blew back with the rush, and the wind streamed through the sleeves and legs of my clothes, which were not only several sizes too big, but also from the guy’s section. The fierce dragon illustration emblazoned upon my shirt ruffled with the air and represented how my liking of dinosaurs had evolved into a love of dragons over the years. And with new likings came new hobbies.
My friend Rudy and I considered ourselves bikers—not the trick kind, mind you, but we loved to have fun at the ramp and the half-pipe. We often got together after school and on weekends to hang out and improve our limited skills.
I tightly gripped the handlebars of my bike as the ground evened out into the familiar streets of the suburbs, my goal right ahead of me. There was a slight twinge of fear in the back of my mind, but I easily overlooked it with excitement building in me. I pulled up on the handlebars at the right moment as the front wheel thudded against the start of the ramp.
“Woo! Yeah!” I yelled, raising one fist towards the sky in victory as my bike seemingly flew through the air; it was incredible. Though I was only in the air for a few seconds, it seemed to take forever and I grinned at the exhilaration. I landed several feet away with a thump and gradually veered my handlebars to double back in a wide arc, turning to look at the top of the short hill.
“Nice air, Jade! Let’s see how I do!” Rudy yelled to me while speeding downward on his bike. He was about twelve years of age, short, and with dark brown hair that was nearly black and slightly spiked. His skin was tanner than mine and his eyes were dark brown and full of confidence as he raced downward. He was a risk-taker, someone who would take chances with hopes of fun, which often got us into trouble.
I sluggishly pedaled upward, still watching him race toward the ramp.
Which was why I never saw it coming.
A black blur raced out from the side of the street and skidded to a halt right in front of me. I swerved to avoid hitting it, but was then heading straight for a silver car parked on the side of the street.
“Gah!” I yelled, jerking my handlebars to the right. With a thud, I spun too far while going up the curb and toppled over, crashing with my bike in a sprawled heap on the grass, staring upward into the sky.
Suddenly I felt heavy paws on my chest. Black fur seemingly filled my entire field of vision, and the air was filled with musty, hot breath and uneven panting.
“Ow…get off, Ebony!” I yelled, shoving the dog-like creature off me. She lumbered off, but sat down less than two feet from me, apparently fighting the urge to jump on me again.
Which was the way it went when I was around her. She, of course, knew me, but still felt an odd instinctual sense of needing to “protect” her territory and owner—who was now standing next to his bike, cracking up.
“Shut up, Rudy,” I muttered, climbing to my feet and attempting to realign my handlebars—which unfortunately would end up requiring tools. I sighed and glanced back at the young dog Pokémon, who was still wagging her short, stubby tail with the apparent hope that she could play with us. “So how’d Ebony get out this time?”
“Dunno,” Rudy said, shrugging. “I guess I didn’t close the backyard up good enough. At least Chloe didn’t get away.” He grabbed Ebony’s collar and led her toward his backyard. The Houndour followed without struggle, although her reluctance showed with how slowly she dragged her jet-black paws.
“Oh, and I forgot to tell you…I get to take Ebony with me when I leave,” Rudy said as though I already knew what he was talking about.
“Huh?” I said, puzzled. “What do you…wait. You’re going on a Pokémon Journey? Now?!”
“Yeah, didn’t I tell you?” he asked.
“No. You didn’t,” I said flatly, rather annoyed at the sudden divulge of unpleasant information.
“Oh…well I am. This year I started taking the Pokémon Handling class in school like you have. Well, my parents let me apply to take the end-of-the-quarter exam.”
“Why now?” I asked. “Your twelfth birthday was in April.”
“It’s cause I had to take my third year of classes in sixth grade, so this year was my first chance to take the Pokémon Handling class and first quarter just ended a week ago,” he explained.
I sighed, as I knew altogether too well how the class credits worked. To become a Pokémon Trainer you had to have passed at least three years of semester-long courses to show a competent knowledge of Pokémon before taking the Handling class. At the end of each quarter, as long as your twelfth birthday had passed, you could qualify to take an exam. If you passed, it allowed you to become a licensed Pokémon Trainer.
Seeing as I was in ninth grade, I’d had lots of time to take most of the classes, including Battling and Strategy, Pokémon Biology, numerous Pokéspeech courses, Pokémon Evolution, Pokémon League Law, and finally this year, the Handling class. They were a nice break from Math, History, and all the other boring core classes, but with every extra course I took, I was only further reminded of how the rest of my friends had finished their classes and left to travel with their Pokémon years ago.
“It’s not fair,” I muttered. “I’ve been taking practically all of the Pokémon electives ever since forever. But did my parents let me take the test before? No, it was always something like, ‘you need to finish your middle school education,’ but now I’m in ninth grade and I’m practically fourteen and I’m only just now getting a license.”
“Wait, so you passed the test?” Rudy asked eagerly.
“Yeah, but even once I get my license, I don’t think I’ll be able to go traveling on a Pokémon Journey,” I mumbled, sighing. The main reason I was upset was that everyone else I knew had left to train and now Rudy, one of my best friends was leaving too. There was another reason as well, but I shook it from my mind quickly.
“So…what Pokémon are you gonna get if you passed?” I questioned, trying to change the subject. “You know…the Pokémon League always makes you choose one even if you have a pet Pokémon to take with you.” It was a bit of a pointless question, but I couldn’t think of anything else to say.
“What do you mean ‘if’? Of course I passed and you know I wouldn’t pick anything other than Charmander!”
“Of course,” I said, rolling my eyes. Rudy always was a bit of a pyromaniac. When we weren’t biking, we’d go out into an empty dirt area lighting fireworks, but Rudy would always end up doing something else, like playing a game that I called “what-will-happen-if-I-light-this-on-fire?” It seemed like the small, flame-tailed lizard, Charmander would be a perfect match.
Rudy led Ebony along a rock path and past his pool to a fenced-off area of his backyard. He stepped onto the grass and over to the dog run where he opened a gate and let her in with Chloe, another puppy Pokémon of his. Chloe wagged her fluffy, cream-colored tail and rubbed her orange furred nose against the bars, but to no avail. The Growlithe then blinked her large, intelligent eyes at us in wonder before deciding to roughhouse with Ebony. Rudy glanced around the backyard and clapped a hard to his forehead.
“Oh crud! I forgot to do my chores—my dad’s gonna kill me!” he exclaimed frantically.
“I could help,” I said, shrugging.
“Nah, I wasn’t even supposed to be playing in the first place. Help me get the ramp in and then I gotta get to work.”
I groaned mentally as we ran back to the front yard, grabbed opposite ends of the ramp, and carried it to his garage, setting it in a corner next to the large piles of boxes that inhabited most of the space. He wheeled his bike in and slammed the garage shut.
“I’ll see ya, Jade,” Rudy said, running to the backyard.
“Later,” I said, swinging a leg over my bike and riding across the street to my house. Rudy wouldn’t be finished for a while so I figured that I could hang out in town for a little bit. I left my bike in the driveway and sprinted through the open garage, through a door, into the living room, and upstairs to my room. I glanced quickly around my room and grabbed my backpack from the side of the bed in the corner. I snatched my wallet up from my deck and stuffed it in my pocket, hooking the chain onto my belt loop as I raced back down the carpeted stairs.
I quickly scribbled a note to my mom on the first piece of scrap paper I could find and was about to head outside when a fluttering noise in the corner by the window made me stop. I glanced over to see a small bird Pokémon flapping his wings from atop a wooden perch. His feathers were mostly a dusty tan color except for the longer feathers on his head and tail, which were brown. He chirped occasionally, not saying anything in particular but hoping to get my attention in the smallest way possible.
“Alright, alright, Swift. You know you can come with me whenever I go for a ride,” I said, grinning and holding out my arm as the bird flew over to perch on my shoulder. I knew how boring it had to be staying inside all the time, as it was much harder for Pokémon to deal with that sort of thing than animals.
“Rrrrrr,” the Pidgey cooed as I walked outside and mounted my bike once again. Swift took flight and soared in the sky above me, occasionally chirping in contentment.
I sped down the familiar streets of Viridian City, glancing around at the numerous buildings and gas stations of the city. I didn’t intend to buy anything, but mostly I enjoyed the free time and being able to ride around aimlessly. I glanced up at the sky, taking my hands off the handlebars occasionally and thinking about everything that was going on.
Rudy was leaving. Going on a Pokémon Training journey, like everyone else.
I’d never had many friends, but it seemed like for each one that left, I always had someone still here. First Ajia three years ago, then all the aspiring trainers in my grade, and then everyone I knew in the grade below me. I didn’t even want to be a professional Pokémon Trainer; I just wanted to go with them. There wasn’t even much point in having passed the Handling exam—what good would a license do me now?
I looked up at the sky again, confused and unsure of how to feel. It took me several minutes to realize that Swift wasn’t following me anymore.
There was no response and still no sight of him.
“Swift!” I called out, pedaling hard to power my bike along the sidewalks. Where had he gone? He had never done this before. I headed toward the park and glanced along the fields and in the numerous pine trees, but to no avail.
“This is weird…” I muttered to myself. “Where the heck did he go?”
Almost as if on cue, the Pidgey flew over a house and soared toward me. He kept gesturing to the left with his wings, as though trying to tell me something.
“What is it?” I asked.
“*Just follow me!*” he said finally in his own language. Understanding Pokémon was fairly easy after all the Pokéspeech classes I had taken, and I rode underneath him, struggling to keep up. Occasionally he would glance back to make sure I was still following him before leading me down another side street. Finally, I saw what Swift was so excited about…
We were at the very edge of Viridian City, just at the boundary between forest and city. In the distance to the west was where I saw it. Everything was gone. Destroyed. The forests on the border between Johto and Kanto had been ravaged, leaving nothing but charred ground and a continuous stream of smoke that billowed upward into the clouds blown in from the north. The sickening stench of burning flesh greeted me, and I held an arm over my nose as I continued forward. I rode down the hill and through the Western Viridian Forest before entering the midst of the death zone, struggling to look away from the dead bodies of beasts that littered the now barren wilderness. I had been out here before, but the forests I knew were gone, and likewise, the animals and Pokémon.
“What…what happened here…?” I said, gasping in awe.
Swift swooped down to land on my shoulder, gripping it lightly with his talons as I parked my bike against a tree and proceeded to look for any signs of life. My sneakers kicked up ashes as I walked, and I finally gave up checking if any of the wild creatures were still alive after a while. Every now and then I could identify a pile of ash that had once been something living, and all the creatures that weren’t totally disintegrated were charred black and deathly still.
Finally, there came a sign of movement near a pile of burnt leaves that still had the remnants of flame burning at its edge. I shifted the ashes and found a small creature underneath.
It was still breathing.
It was a Charmander, though I was only barely able to tell. The lizard's normally glossy orange scales were burnt black, and with each breath, its body shuddered, as though it was cold despite the fact that its body was filled with warmth. When it slowly opened its eyes, they were a dull gray color rather than the large, bright blue, curiosity-filled eyes that were normally characteristic with Charmander. The scarlet and flaming-orange colored ember that normally burned on its tail was little more than a tiny flare that flickered constantly.
I wanted to clean its burns with some water I had in my backpack, but I knew that for a creature of fire, that would only make things worse. I pulled the burnt remains away from it and slowly wiped the soot off the lizard, trying not to injure its blistered skin any further.
“I wouldn’t stay here much longer if I were you.”
Startled by the sudden voice, I glanced over my shoulder to see someone standing behind me. Upon turning to see him more clearly, I noticed that he was a lot taller than I was, though probably not much older than fifteen. His hair was short, slightly wavy, and light brown colored while his eyes were an icy dark blue. He was dressed in a black shirt with a gray jacket and dull blue cargo pants.
“What did you say?” I asked.
“You shouldn’t be here,” he repeated. “They wouldn’t want any witnesses, and—” He paused mid-sentence and suddenly asked, “Are you a Pokémon Trainer? You look old enough to be one.”
“Um, no…not yet,” I admitted. After a few seconds of awkward silence I asked, “Are you?”
“Well, I’d have to be if I wanted to carry these around,” he said, pointing to the small red and white spheres in the black holders on his pants. It was illegal to carry Poké Balls if you weren’t a licensed trainer.
Now gazing at the ravaged landscape, he muttered, “Amazing how much damage humans can cause… The fire’s spread too far, though…how are they gonna keep it unnoticed?” I wasn’t entirely sure whether he was talking to me or just commenting to himself.
“Who did this, do you know—?” I asked, picking up the Charmander and standing to my feet.
“There’s no point trying to explain it,” he interrupted, walking further in the direction I had originally been going. “Just follow me.”
I jogged quickly to catch up. “How recently did this happen?”
“So recently that it’s still happening,” was the only response. We reached the edge of a peak that overlooked an open valley between the forested hills. It was there that I saw what he was talking about.
Standing out above all else was the Pokémon of fire, a powerful and upstanding beast with the body of a lion and powerful muscles rivaled only by the strongest of all Fighting Pokémon. Its thick, blue paws struck the ground as it ran, the billowy, silk-like fur along its back ruffling with the beast’s incredible speed. Flame burst forth from its coarse brown fur, and its face was covered with brightly colored crests of yellow atop its head, red on its face, and blue along the muzzle. With each roar, it gave off an air of torment as it incinerated the surrounding area, but I could tell from the pain in its cry that this massacre was unintentional. Entei, it was called—the Beast of the Volcano, a Legendary Pokémon of living flame.
I was so awed by the legendary beast that I almost overlooked the people near it. Over fifty adults armed with powerful Pokémon or guns were pursuing Entei in jeeps surrounded by protective force fields. The giant beast constantly let loose immense blasts of fire at them, but its assaults were blocked by both the shields and powerful jets of water from the trainers’ Pokémon. Despite a blazing ring of fire that surrounded and protected it, the Entei was repeatedly struck by bullets from its pursuers.
“What—? Why…” I said, gasping. “They’re poachers aren’t they?”
“Not exactly,” he said, turning to look upon the onslaught. “Have you ever heard of Team Rocket? You should, living in a big city like Viridian.”
I thought back. Faint memories of the news surfaced at the back of my mind, yet they were obscured by time and the fact that I didn’t really pay attention to such things when I was young. “Sort of,” I replied.
“Yeah, I figured. It started out as a sort of widespread group of criminal gangsters. Then this millionaire came along and used their idea to create a huge underground organization. He recruited hundreds of members from all over Johto, Kanto, and even a few from way out in Hoenn and Sinnoh. A long time ago you probably heard about all kinds of raids on cities, mass Pokémon deaths, and other stuff. All of their recent operations are almost completely unknown to all, though.”
“How do you know then?” I asked, raising an eyebrow.
“I figured you’d ask that,” he said, grinning. “I’m actually on the Johto Force of Team Rocket. High ranking, too, so I know pretty much everything about it and everyone on it. Plus I can do what I want and Giovanni doesn’t even know that I’m really against him.”
“Giovanni?” I asked. That was a surprise to me.
“Yeah, he’s the founder and leader of it all. You’ve probably heard of—”
“Of course I’ve heard of him,” I interrupted. “How could I not know about the leader of the Viridian Pokémon Gym? You’re saying he’s the leader?”
“Well...shouldn’t more people know about that, then? I mean, if the leader of some huge organization is right under everyone’s nose, then—”
“You underestimate the team’s influence,” he replied with a slight laugh. “Turning him in wouldn’t do anything. If anything, it would only mean certain death for whoever it was reported to.”
I looked back at the blazing hillside. “Shouldn’t we do something?” I asked. “I mean, if we don’t—”
“We?” he said, again laughing slightly. “You have a pet bird and a half-dead lizard, so it’d be me doing everything. And I know my limits. The dragons I train may be powerful, but they’re not fast enough to dodge repeated fire from the Rockets. They’d be shot down before getting within twenty feet of the battle.”
“Oh…” I said, my voice trailing off.
“If you’re that determined, then I’ll tell you this: with agents all over Johto and Kanto, if Team Rocket really wanted to execute a massive takeover, it’d be altogether too easy.”
I turned to him in surprise. “What?”
“The only reason they haven’t already is because they’re building up forces in case any trainers rebelled against them. That’s why they’ve taken to capturing Legendary Pokémon. If Team Rocket managed to create forces led by members with Legendaries, it’d be all over,” he explained matter-of-factly, as though Team Rocket being on the verge of world conquest was normal, everyday conversation.
“Then, what do we do about that?” I asked, confused as to why he was telling me this.
“I’ve been giving these out to a lot of people,” he said, handing me a small card. “It pretty much explains everything. If you become a trainer, but don’t really want to go around battling in Pokémon Gyms, then let me know.”
“But how—?” I began.
“The card explains everything,” he said again. “But don’t tell anyone else about it.”
He pulled out a red and white sphere and pushed a button on it, causing it to enlarge and open. In an instant, a flash of white light burst forth from inside it and began to take the form of a huge dragon, upright and majestic. Rough, yet shiny flaming orange colored scales covered most of its thickly muscled body, save for huge, powerful blue wings. Its main characteristic was the flame that burned brightly at the tip of its tail. It was a Charizard, the fully mature form of Charmander.
He replaced the Poké Ball and climbed up onto the dragon’s back. It flexed its wings and outstretched them, flapping against the air and sending rushes of wind into my face. I held my hair against my head and watched as the reptile ascended into the sky.
“I’ll see ya,” the trainer said, soaring out of sight.
“Uh, later,” I said more to myself than him, wondering how and why I’d see him later. I looked at the small card he had given me and read.
If you have received this card, it is because you have either been recognized as either a beginning trainer with the potential for skill, or are an ambitious young trainer willing to face danger for the sake of wiping out Team Rocket. If you are serious about joining a rebellion against the Rockets, then meet in Vermilion City prior to the following date for further instruction. The cruise ship, S.S. Anne is leaving for the headquarters’ location on December 7.
Talk about anonymity. Still, it made sense, just in case Team Rocket got a hold of one of the cards. But was he really just giving them out to random trainers? Why was he doing this?
I turned back to the battle that was still continuing. It was obvious what the outcome would be, and yet I still wanted to help Entei in some way despite the fact that there was nothing that I could do. I sighed and continued to watch.
It was then that they noticed me. I was standing only about a hundred yards from the Rockets and Entei. The driver of the first jeep said something to the second, which turned abruptly and began speeding up the hill toward me.
My eyes widened. “Crap…don’t tell me they…” The realization hit me like a brick—they were coming for me…I had to run, but for some reason it was like my legs were frozen. It wasn’t until they were halfway up the hill that I finally got myself turn around and was able to take off running towards Viridian.
Swift flew alongside me as I sprinted though the woods, my heart pounding and my lungs aching, but the sudden burst of fear kept me running onward. I glanced over my shoulder—too slow, they were gaining on me. I had to reach my bike—nothing was more important than that. If I managed to, then I could make it to town before they caught me and then lose them on the side streets. Was it too far away?
I wasn’t going to make it in time. No, I had to, I had to!
The jeep sped past me and skidded to a stop in front of me. I tried to turn and run in the other direction, but the driver threw open the door and grabbed me by the back of my shirt. I tried to pull against his hold, but it was no use. The Rocket flung open the back door and threw me in the back of the jeep.
“Hey, what the—?!” I cried.
“Shut the hell up if you want to live. We’re not supposed to have any witnesses, but you might get off the hook if you just keep quiet,” the driver muttered, climbing back into the front seat and driving off. I sat up warily, wanting to look around and at least figure out the situation, but not draw attention to myself.
The driver was older than most of the others and judging by a number of badges pinned to his vest, more experienced as well. Glancing up over the seat, I could see he was a tall, burly man with thick black hair and dark eyes surrounded by a stern and commanding face.
Outside, Swift dove forward and flapped his wings quickly to fly alongside the jeep, calling out to me. He then soared in low circles above us, not seeming to want to leave. To my horror, one of the Rockets pulled out a small handgun and began shooting at Swift before the driver stopped him.
“Leave it,” he said. “It’s just a Pidgey. Doesn’t matter if it belongs to a captive.”
I quickly turned to look out the back window and saw Swift flying high up in the sky. When he seemed sure that the Rockets weren’t paying attention to him, he swooped low again and waved his wing at me. I could’ve sworn I saw him wink once before taking off to the north, toward my neighborhood.
I only just noticed that I was still holding the wounded Charmander. It was still unconscious, but also still alive. I vaguely noticed that we were nearing the main streets of Viridian…would it be possible for me to yell for help? No…I almost immediately realized that all of the windows were up now, and each of the Rockets was armed. There was no way out of this.
I slowly sank back down onto the floor, staring blankly ahead with a bizarre feeling of numbness spreading through my body. There was nothing I could possibly do. My life was in the Rockets’ hands. It…it had all happened too fast for me to make sense of anything—a nagging past of my subconscious kept screaming that I was going to die. I closed my eyes and tried to calm myself, but my breathing still felt shallow.
We continued heading east until we were once again away from the city. Finally, the jeep skidded to a halt in a small area that was mostly cleared of trees. I couldn’t see anything from the back window, and the Rockets in the front seats were blocking my view in front of the car. The driver got out and slammed the door.
I leaned forward to see out the back seat window and watched as he leaned over and lifted up a small hatch in the grass. Underneath were a keypad and a small screen. He pushed in a long and complicated password and closed the hatch.
“Identification confirmed. Proceed,” a computerized voice stated. I was stunned to see the ground starting to sink, revealing a sort of ramp that descended into darkness. He walked back and got into the car again before driving down. As we neared the end of the tunnel, the entrance behind us closed and I could see lights far ahead in the distance. We emerged into an immense, dimly lit underground hangar. The driver parked the jeep in an area to the side after skidding to a halt. The Rockets got out of the car and the driver opened the back hatch, grabbing my wrist and jerking me out. I held onto the Charmander lightly with my right arm. “Remember what I said. Just shut up and don’t do anything stupid,” he said, leading me toward what looked like an office door. He left me outside the door and walked inside.
So this was where it would end… I tried to shove the thoughts like that out of my mind, but even if that wasn’t the case, I didn’t want to think about what a Team Rocket prison would be like. And…what if I was right and the Rockets decided it was better to just kill me and get it over with? Unable to stand the suspense any longer, I leaned my ear against the door and tried to hear snatches of their conversation.
“So? How did it all go?” someone asked. His voice sounded younger than my captor’s, though from his dominating tone of voice and the way the other acted slightly submissive, I assumed that he was higher ranking.
“I left the rest of the squad behind to deal with an…unwanted witness…” the driver said.
“How much did they see?”
“Enough for her to know about our plans to capture the Legendary Pokémon.”
“You idiot!” the other Rocket yelled. “Did you even consider the fact that she may not have really known anything about our mission at all?! Sure, she reports some poaching of a Legendary Pokémon, big deal. No one would have any idea that it was us. But now she sure as hell knows too much. Honestly, Tyson, I don’t even know why I—”
“Should I just kill her?” he interrupted. My heart skipped a beat when he said that.
“No…” the other sighed. I could hear the rustling of papers. “Just—”
At once, I heard the beeping of what sounded like a cell phone. Tyson answered it and, after listening for a few seconds, said something quietly and turned it off.
“Well?” the other Rocket asked impatiently.
“Shortly after I left, it seemed to the others that Entei was going to escape into the Tohjo Mountains, so they called for backup from any nearby Johto agents. Turns out, some kid was the one who threw the ball that caught Entei, only now he doesn’t really want to give it up and he’s waiting for instruction from the Supreme Commander of the Johto Force,” Tyson reported.
“The fool…Giovanni’s word isn’t enough for him?” he muttered with scorn.
“Well, even though Giovanni’s the boss, he really doesn’t have much rule over what the Johto Force does…”
“Yes, I know…and just stick the girl on the transport jet. Let the Executives at the secondary headquarters deal with what to do with her.”
I breathed a sigh of relief after hearing that…my situation hadn’t improved, but simply knowing that I wasn’t dead yet was enough to make me feel better. A few seconds later, however, I heard footsteps coming toward the door. I jumped back and pretended as though I hadn’t been doing anything. Tyson opened the door and again took hold of my wrist and led me to another area. I followed without struggle, knowing that rebelling would only get me shot.
“Okay, I know you heard what we said in there, so you know what’s going on, and you better not cause any problems,” he threatened menacingly.
I was then that I noticed the large, gray airplane that was in the opposite corner of the hangar. Several mechanics seemed to be making sure everything was in order, and other Rockets were loading supplies into the cargo hold. Tyson also escorted me to the cargo bay. Large boxes filled the area and more crates were being loaded in. I was thrown into a small, metal room along the side, and the door was left open. A few minutes later, another Rocket came over, jerked my backpack from me, and looked through it before shoving it back into my arms. After checking all my pockets and deciding I had no weapons or Poké Balls on me, he pulled the Charmander from my arms and chained my hands and feet to the wall.
“What about the kid’s Charmander?” the Rocket called out to someone outside of the room.
“Just leave it, the thing’s near death anyway,” Tyson yelled back. “I don’t need to deal with some random dead Pokémon.”
The Rocket set the Charmander on the floor and shoved it towards me before closing the door.
“What should we do about the other kids?” he asked.
Other kids? I wasn’t aware that others had been kidnapped as well and Tyson didn’t seem to know what the Rocket meant either. “What other kids?” he questioned.
“Another prisoner we’ve had for a while and some other kid we caught snooping around the entrance a minute ago.”
“There’s only one cell, just lock ‘em in a supply closet or something…” Tyson said, his voice growing distant. Several minutes later, I heard the thunk of a heavy door being closed and the steadily growing roar of engines. I could feel the speed increase and was slanted backward as the plane maneuvered uphill. I guessed that the plane was heading up the long ramp that I came in by, and I could feel when the wheels left the ground.
The time alone in the cell inevitably led to my thoughts straying back toward what was going to happen to me. It was always the sort of thing that you assumed would happen to somebody else. My mind kept telling me that I was going to be killed, and no matter how many times I shoved the thought out of my head, it kept coming back.
I had to do something. I didn’t plan on having my fate in the hands of some Executive Rocket. With a quick glance around the cell, I spotted a small coil of wire sticking out of a mechanism in the corner. I figured that I could try picking the lock if I could just reach it, but it was too far away.
Keep reading the next post, that's not the end of the chapter...